Pat T. 06/21/1992
The 2nd Step is the beginning of hope for recovery from a hopeless state of mind and body.
The word God isn’t mentioned. The word “sanity” is, because that’s the purpose of the step. To acknowledge my mental obsession with alcohol, just as I have admitted my physical addiction to it.
I need to come to believe that I can’t trust my own thinking when it comes to not drinking.
When I was recently sober, I remember having dinner in a restaurant and counting the number of Manhattans a waiter brought to a table across the room. It wasn’t deliberate – it was instinctive. My eyes followed that glass on that tray like a plant leans toward the light.
There is something about alcohol that catches my eye. In movies, in restaurants, supermarkets, even driving in the car. I notice the signs, the six packs, the ABC stores. My life revolved around drinking for such a long time. There is a wistful quality to my watching, excluded from a life that was once so familiar. Like being confronted with pictures of a dead friend.
So that little thought creeps in: They can do it, why can’t I? My mind will pretend that I would have just one. Okay, maybe two. Hell, why not a 12-pack and a couple of shots? Because I don’t drink one, I don’t even WANT to drink just one.
I want to drink. Drink till it’s gone, drink till I black out, drink until I pass out. Then I want to get up and drink some more.
That’s the difference between me and “them.” And despite the fact that I know that – my mind isn’t ready to give up the fight. Which is crazy. Cuckoo crazy.
Later in the Big Book, after the 9th Step, I am promised this will be different. I will be placed in a position of neutrality when it comes to booze. I won’t notice because I won’t care. But that promise begins here.
In the book, it asks me this: Do you believe or are you willing to believe in a power greater than yourself?”
At that time, I had no working faith in God, but I believed in AA. I knew I felt better, safer, in meetings than I did out in the real world. I saw people getting their lives together, laughing about their mistakes, handling hard stuff without getting drunk. Together, we were staying sober.
That was a power I was willing to believe in. And the evidence of sanity was sitting right there in the seat next to me.
Restore Me to Sanity
Pat T. 06/21/1992